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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Kansas territorial census, 1855. District 17

Johnson, Alex S.

This census was taken in order to determine eligible voters for elections to be held as proclaimed by Governor Andrew Reeder on November 10, 1854. The categories for information in the census were name, occupation, age, male, female, emigrated from, native of United States, naturalized citizen, declarant (intention to become a citizen), Negro, slave, and voter. Only white males over 21 were eligible to vote. The districts used for the census were the same as the election districts. A statistical summary of the census follows the enumeration pages. For District 17, the place of election was the house of B. F. Robinson. The boundaries of each district were described in Governor Reeder's proclamation and it is difficult to determine what counties were in each district. The 17th Dist was organized by a supplemental proclamation of the governor, Nov. 25, 1854. He declared that it seemed expedient that the first district should be divided to form the 17th district, which was located in the east part of the present Johnson county, quoted as to bounds as follows, (from the ex minutes, 1854, p. 24.) "beginning at the mouth of the Kansas river; thence up said river to the mouth of Cedar creek; thence up said creek to the Santa Fe Road; thence by said road and the Missouri State Line to the place of beginning."

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Crossing the Plains, the journal of Harriett Bidwell Shaw

Shaw, Harriet Bidwell

Harriett Bidwell Shaw started a journal in September 18,1851, when she and her husband, Reverend James Milton Shaw traveled in a wagon train via the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico. Harriett was the only woman to accompany the wagon train. She documented their daily activities, the weather conditions, hardships on the trail, encounters with Indians, and buffalo hunting. When the Shaws passed through Kansas they stayed at Shawnee Baptist Mission, Council Grove, and Pawnee Rock and stopped near Fort Mackey on the Arkansas river. They reached Santa Fe on November 14, 1851, where the journal ends. The Shaws eventually went to Albuquerque and then Socorro to establish Baptist missions among the Spanish people. In sum, Shaws journal presents a remarkable picture of the difficulties and rewards of travel to the American West prior to the American Civil War.

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Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition

This excerpt from the congressional report of the Secretary of War includes the abstracts of two journals, one by Lieutenant William B. Franklin, a topographical engineer, and another by Lieutenant H.S. Turner of the 1st dragoons stationed at Fort Leavenworth. Under the command of Stephen Kearny, the 1st dragoons and their accompanying engineers left Fort Leavenworth on a military march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States? military power to both native tribes and the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). For the most part this abstract details their route, but it does include a transcription of a conversation between Kearny and a Sioux chief named Bull Tail.

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Jedediah Smith to Ralph Smith

Smith, Jedediah Strong, 1799-1831

This letter is from Jedidiah Strong Smith (1799-1831) to his brother Ralph Smith (1794-1867) who was living in Wayne County, Ohio at the time of the letter in 1831. This letter is written from St. Louis, Missouri months before Jedidiah Smith was killed by Comanche Indians in May of 1831 on the Cimaron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail near the Cimarron River. In the letter, Jedidiah writes about his travels and people he encounters and interacts with including children and doctors.

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